External communications

A campaign approach to everyday PR

A campaign approach to everyday PR

SE10 has never really been a ‘campaign agency’. We don’t come in and make a splash on high-profile projects, then disappear never to be heard from again. We’re the ones with our noses to the grindstone, generating copy, nurturing media relationships and dutifully measuring the results as an extension of our clients’ communications teams day in, day out. We’ve worked with retainer clients in this way for more than 15 years. But I’ve been wondering recently, what effect could taking a campaign approach have on our regular work for them?

The first benefit I see is focus. The scope of our retainer agreements is so wide-ranging that as volumes mount and deadlines loom, it can feel difficult sometimes to keep our overall goals in sight. Developing a series of targeted mini campaigns could help in ensure the main thrust of our activities stays in line with the strategy.

The second is in tracking progress. If we detail specific activities and timeframes for their completion in advance – as opposed to taking them as they come – it should be immediately clear how well we are doing within our focus areas. If we are failing somehow, we can take corrective measures, and if all is shipshape, we can be reassured in the knowledge that we’re actually achieving what we planned.

Finally, it would be impossible to evaluate everything we do for our clients. But taking mini campaigns as a snapshot of our work in general could provide a simpler and more manageable way to measure our performance. Following this approach, clients might more clearly understand and appreciate the specific impact of our efforts.

In summary, adopting a campaign mentality seems like a practical way to take control of what could otherwise feel like a daunting remit. I hope to bring this mindset to my clients in the coming year for both internal and external communications and that by approaching our focus areas in a bitesize way we can facilitate success at every stage from planning, through execution to evaluation.

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